Split three-day week proposed to aid economic recovery from coronavirus crisis

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A split three-day week should be considered as part of the economic recovery from the Covid-19 crisis, with workers separated into two different teams, a report is urging.

The Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA) is suggesting that firms arrange “A teams” and “B teams”, typically working Monday to Wednesday or Thursday to Saturday, based on a similar arrangement in South Korea.

This would help enable social distancing at work and ease congestion on the roads, cycling infrastructure and public transport, said its report.

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Employees would then have greater choice to combine work with caring, learning, or volunteering and lead to a future of more flexible work for both employers and employees, said the RSA.

A three day week would help enable social distancing at work, it is claimedA three day week would help enable social distancing at work, it is claimed
A three day week would help enable social distancing at work, it is claimed | pa

Matthew Taylor, chief executive of the RSA, said: “The crisis can be an opportunity for positive change.

“We need to get back to work, but there is no going back to normal, even if we wanted to. We are calling for a 12-month ‘back to work’ strategy to help businesses plan, must contain the seeds of a better future – which creates a better future of work, builds our green infrastructure, and brings citizens and experts closer.

“Over time, the ‘team a’ and ‘team b’ working could develop into a more permanent three-day week, while the negative income tax could become a basic income floor for citizens.

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“These ideas and others will clearly be subject to debate, but it’s vital we have new thinking to ‘build back better’ and address the challenges we face, from the climate emergency to mass economic insecurity.”

The RSA is an independent charity.